“Now, the Chinese believe it’s vital to know their ancestors—for without knowing where their graves are they can’t appease their spirits and will therefore be tormented by their hungry ghosts. Jardine, who is a Chinese orphan, absolutely desperate to know everyone in her past, is about to discover she should be careful what she wishes for. She makes a living jumping out of party cakes and arrives at a would-be client’s flat, decked out in her costume, dancing.”
A short extract from the award winning iUniverse novel, Riding the Tiger, by debut author, Milena Banks; now see more about how Milena wrote the book:
“I began thinking about writing this particular novel in 1993 when I first moved to Hong Kong. I found it terrifically hot, unbearably humid, the streets crowded, the air polluted and worse still—everyone spoke Cantonese; I was overwhelmed. I locked myself in my flat and turned the A/C up to Frigidaire. I had painfully studied Mandarin and had just come from three years in Tokyo where I’d learned Japanese—I now deemed my studies worthless and yet another uphill cultural climb threatened to capsize me. Worse still, I had no job, but my husband rushed off to work in his suit every morning with a cautious look back at me as I stood dolefully staring out frosty windows at amazing high-rises, lush vegetation, and the sparkling harbor. It was ridiculous. My curiosity quickly overcame my stubbornness. I could not stand there for three years doing nothing.”
“I began to venture out, wanting to find a way to understand how the modern brash city came to be. Hong Kong at this moment was at a pivotal point in its history. 1997 was approaching and everyone was quietly panicked about what would happen when the Chinese took over the reins from the departing and humbled British (who had won the Island in an unequal treaty during the Opium Wars in the 1800’s). The Hong Kong Chinese were sending money overseas, getting dual citizenships, and digging up long buried relatives and shipping them abroad. I became more and more curious. Besides, how can you not with the panoply of exotic cooking smells, visions of mounded tropical fruits—? Oh, and the clothes! The electronics! The Chanel bags! The flowers for sale! And it was all surrounded by the excited chatter of the ever-ebullient Chinese . . . What I discovered on the streets and in the markets and in the reams of microfilm at the South China Morning Post made me fall in love with Hong Kong and its people. I collected an enormous pile of data and just as my heart was bursting with love for the place and excitement over my project, we moved back to the States.”
iUniverse says don’t miss the final part
iUniverse Blog encourages to you to look up the final part of this series from debut award winning author , Milena Banks here, or to find out more about her, visit her website, or buy Riding the Tiger at the iUniverse Bookstore.